The World’s Best, Worst and Most Dangerous Airports

April 22, 2023
6 mins read

There are now more than 100,000 flights around the world everyday, many in small aircraft carrying less than 10 passengers on relatively short flights, but the number of commercial passengers using major airports and flying considerable distances is growing every year too.

Most passengers are now quite relaxed about the experience of actually flying – the chance of a major accident occurring is actually infinitesimal – but regard the use of major airports as a necessary evil, to be used only as a sort of bus stop, so with minimum time spent in them as is humanly possible. Why? Hearing of some of the stories about simply embarking or disembarking is probably enough to encourage this attitude in most people.

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However, regular surveys by authoritative organisations produce lists of airports which are actually very ‘passenger-friendly’, as well as those at the opposite end of the scale. Of course, increased security in recent years has extended the time it takes from entering an airport to actually boarding a flight, but also there are some airports which are hubs, where many passengers need to wait for hours for a connecting flight, and these periods often produce the most frustrating experiences, or are simply boring – just give me a (relatively comfortable) place to sleep!


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A final factor is the experience of those most important people using an airport, the aircraft crews. Their experiences may be at considerable variance to those of passengers; that is, safety in landing and taking-off is paramount, as well as ground management of the aircraft to the passenger gate, and the loading and unloading of people and cargo.


The following lists – with comments where necessary – are self-explanatory: ‘best’ reflects the views of passengers, ‘worst’ largely pilots opinions, and ‘most dangerous’ often physical/geographic factors.





MOST DANGEROUS AIRPORTS – three major airports are listed, all in the US: Cleveland – poor staffing, and lack of de-icing equipment; La Guardia (New York) – located between Kennedy and Newark airports so in an over-crowded sky; and Los Angeles International(LAX) – extremely busy airspace, confusing runways and taxiways, and so over-stretched ground control.


[one_half]1. Barra, Scotland[/one_half][one_half_last]underwater at high tide![/one_half_last]

[one_half]2. Lukla, Nepal[/one_half][one_half_last]at 3000m altitude, short and narrow runway.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]3. St Maarten, Dutch Caribbean[/one_half][one_half_last]short runway, approach low over the beach.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]4. Toncontin, Honduras[/one_half][one_half_last]in a twisting, narrow urban ravine, and with a short runway.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]5. Madeira Is, Portuguese[/one_half][one_half_last]in a short, narrow valley, with drop-off at both ends, and wind sheer.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]6. Paro, Bhutan[/one_half][one_half_last]high, narrow, short: only eight pilots qualified to land there![/one_half_last]

[one_half]7. Saba, Dutch Caribbean[/one_half][one_half_last]as for #3, plus narrow between cliffs.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]8. Narsarsuaq, Greenland[/one_half][one_half_last]icebergs around, wind turbulence: only daylight use.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]9. Futenma, Okinawa[/one_half][one_half_last]in the middle of town, no room for error.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]10. Damascus, Syria[/one_half][one_half_last]constantly fought over by various armed groups![/one_half_last]




La Guardia


WORST AIRPORTS – LAX, La Guardia, and also Chicago’s O’Hare Airport – often closed for minimal bad weather – figure prominently in pilots’ ‘top 10’ list of worst airports. The other seven below qualify because of over-crowding, minimal facilities, decrepit buildings, or all three, and other deficiencies. Pilots and passengers comments are appended.


[one_half]1. Kathmandu, Nepal[/one_half][one_half_last]’running at 600% capacity, with no amenities and incredibly lax security.'[/one_half_last]

[one_half]2. Charles de Gaulle, Paris[/one_half][one_half_last]’don’t use it unless you have a week to spare!’ 50% lost luggage.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]3. Manila International, Philippines[/one_half][one_half_last]’built in 1935 and in a time warp!'[/one_half_last]

[one_half]4. Heathrow, London[/one_half][one_half_last]no specific reasons: pilots just don’t seem to like it.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]5. Pyongyang, North Korea[/one_half][one_half_last]same gate for arrivals and departures, internet room with no internet, personal photos inspected before departure allowed![/one_half_last]

[one_half]6. Sao Paulo, Brazil[/one_half][one_half_last]often shut by rain; mountains and populated areas surrounding it.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]7. Madrid, Spain[/one_half][one_half_last]’kilometres to the gate.’ ‘Ridiculously high prices.’ Minimal signage.[/one_half_last]




Changi, Singapore1


BEST AIRPORTS – voted by airline customers: seasoned travellers will find few surprises in this list, except that Heathrow appears in it, as well as in the ‘worst’ list above. Singapore’s Changi scores the top spot for the fourth consecutive year. Japan also scores well, with four airports in the top 11 ‘best’. ‘Efficient’ is a common remark in reviews on almost all the airports on the list.


[one_half]1. Changi, Singapore[/one_half][one_half_last]one of the major hubs in the world connecting more than 200 destinations, Changi is renowned for its comprehensive range of facilities, entertainment, excellence of support staff, and ease of transitting the terminals.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]2. Seoul Incheon, South Korea[/one_half][one_half_last]running a close second, Incheon boasts spas, an ice-skating rink and even a golf course to cater to the over 40 million passengers it handles each year.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]3. Munich, Germany[/one_half][one_half_last]also efficiently handling 40 million people a year, friendly knowledgeable staff, free facilities and ease of transition including smooth ground transport to and within help this hub stand-out among European airports.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]4. Tokyo Haneda, Japan[/one_half][one_half_last]modern, full of interesting shops, great places for relaxing, having a shower and charging your electronics including free wifi, easy to get yourself to and around.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]5. Hong Kong, China[/one_half][one_half_last]also known for efficient handling of passengers and cargo, including internal transport, fast-train external connection, modern and attractive, friendly staff, plenty of English signage, hotels, etc.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]6. Nagoya Chūbu, Japan[/one_half][one_half_last]spacious, efficient, ease of access, multi-cultural food outlets.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]7. Zurich, Switzerland[/one_half][one_half_last]clean, comfortable seating, extensive selection of shops and food outlets including free drink dispensing machines.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]8. London Heathrow, UK[/one_half][one_half_last]handling 75 million passengers a year through five terminals which apparently vary considerably in terms of efficiency and facilities, so reviews are widely spread.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]9. Osaka Kansai, Japan[/one_half][one_half_last]spacious and clean, good internal/external transport, friendly helpful staff, not as busy as other Japanese airports[/one_half_last]

[one_half]10. Qatar Hamad Airport[/one_half][one_half_last]everything ‘state of the art’, luxurious (cost – $16 billion), friendly knowledgeable staff, easy internal/external access.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]11. Tokyo Narita, Japan[/one_half][one_half_last]as with the other Japanese airports, above.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]12. Frankfurt, Germany[/one_half][one_half_last]new, clean, efficient, modern and speedy, close to the train terminal to anywhere in Europe, specially if anairline goes on strike.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]13. Amsterdam Schipol, Netherlands[/one_half][one_half_last]efficient, modern airport with fantastic amenities! With charging stations, free & fast WiFi, good signage this airport sets an example.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]14. Vancouver, Canada[/one_half][one_half_last]modern design, supporting infrastructure like the skytrain, ample security lanes, options for food plentiful and cheap, multi-lingual signage.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]15. Helsinki Vantaa, Finland[/one_half][one_half_last]free ‘GoSleep’ pods for napping, transport to airport check in, security check good, passport control fast, good live band entertainment at the lounge.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]16. Beijing, China[/one_half][one_half_last]new and clean, easily get to terminals by taxi, tube, shuttle bus, you can have many food choices here, possibly the best price for duty-free shopping.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]17. Brisbane, Australia[/one_half][one_half_last]express air link train service, modern, spacious, efficient and comfortable, friendly staff.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]18. Copenhagen, Denmark[/one_half][one_half_last]’oldest’ airport in the world, frequent trains to Copenhagen and Malmo, clean airport with many shops and facilities.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]19. Cologne-Bonn, Germany[/one_half][one_half_last]easy access to City center, well designed, organized not complicated, a good selection of services and facilities.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]20. Taipei Taoyuan, Taiwan[/one_half][one_half_last]facilities include library, children’s games area, themed lounges, free showers.[/one_half_last]


Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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